97. Image-Bearers of the Heavenly

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

Purifying, refining fire

For some time now, the church has been at that point in God’s Prophetic Timetable which is characterised by the coming of fire, refining and purifying; the gathering and removing of stumbling blocks from the church and from our lives. It is not an easy time. Those stumbling blocks can be idols, they can be other things – and even people – that are hindering the flow of God’s kingdom. The gathering angels are here, to see if we are willing to open up our hearts and allow them to be removed from our lives. We can co-operate, or not: but it will be less painful if we do.

Raising up of a Joshua Generation

This time is also characterised by the raising up of a Joshua Generation, a people of a different spirit, a generation of people who will inherit the land and bring another generation in with them. Joshua and Caleb brought a whole new generation into a physical, geographical land, and also into a new spiritual land. We have spent some time looking at 40 Characteristics of the Joshua Generation on this blog, and it is important for us to know if we are called to be part of that generation.

That is where we are now. But we know that what God is calling us to do is to move forward. Refining, purifying, coming into the furnace of God’s Presence: that is all preparation for moving on with God.

Refiner’s fire

“And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant .. behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness (Mal 3:1-3).

God wants to prepare us, that we may be the offering of the Lord. A refiner’s fire gets pretty hot: the melting point of gold is around 1064°C (1945°F). As the heat is maintained, the impurities come to the surface and can be scooped off. If you are experiencing this, you will know exactly what we are talking about – when something comes to the surface in your life, you have a choice: you can allow God to remove it, or you can just push it all back under again. The trouble is, until you allow God to remove it, it will just keep on coming back to the surface. And the very worst thing you can do, if you want to fulfil your destiny in God, is get out of the fire.

When gold is really pure, the surface is like a mirror. It gives an absolutely perfect reflection. And God wants us to reflect Him, so that others see Him in us. But during that process we need to know that God is with us in it.

We open our door to Him, He opens His door to us

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20).

In other words, He is offering us an intimate relationship with Him in which He will reveal Himself to us and we will be close to Him. And a few verses later:

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, He said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”  Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne (Rev 4:1).

As we surrender our lives to God; as we open up our lives to the lordship of Jesus (and submit to the process of refining), He opens up the door into the heavenly realms for us to engage and ‘Come up here’. Some people have been translated physically, I know, but for most of us it will be a spiritual experience, and that is what we have been looking at on this blog in recent posts.

With practice we can learn to turn into that realm of heaven, because it is ‘at hand’ – or as close to us as if we put our hand in front of our face. We step in, and we step out of the heavenly realms. When we step back out, we bring with us what is there and manifest it here. That is what we understand by Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). Jesus Himself brought the kingdom, and the will of God, as it is in heaven, to the earth – and He intends his disciples to do the same. If we are to bring heaven to earth, we have to access heaven – and the door is open.

Bear the image of the heavenly

As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor 15:48-49).

Just as we were born in an earthly body, now we have been born again and our spirit is now active and alive to God. So we will now bear the image of the heavenly. We need to be bearing the image of the things that are going on in the heavenlies, and outworking them here on the earth. God is opening up the door for us to engage with the heavenly realms, so that we can both see and reflect what is going on.

Through the church… in the heavenly places

…and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph 3:9-11).

There is so much more to God than we can even imagine. He is infinite and eternal. And there is so much that He is revealing today which has not been revealed before. He is opening the realms of heaven so that His people can see. That manifold, multi-faceted, wisdom of God is to be made known through the church – through us – to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

That kingdom which is in darkness – it, too, is that close to us. We are not to draw from it, but we are to manifest the manifold wisdom and authority of God to its rulers and authorities in heavenly places. This was always His intention:

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (v11).

Adam was to have enjoyed free access to the heavenly realms, but he chose a different path. In Christ, that access is now restored to us.

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45. Please Do Not Stone Me…

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are still looking at the Prophetic Timetable God showed me, but as part of that I am going to get into a subject now that could take quite a while to cover. We need to look at how we understand prophecy.

Sons of Issachar

Scripture tells us that the Sons of Issachar were people who understood the times, and who also had knowledge of what to do. We have had that prophesied over us here, but it is not only true for us, it is true for anyone who will lay hold of that truth for themselves. If we are to gain understanding from God, so that we know what to do, then we must deal with all that robs us. We need to face up to the fact that God is about to challenge and change things we have in place in our lives, in our thinking and in our understanding, so that we line up with Him.

And He loves to give continual opportunity for people to respond. If you look at the Prophetic Timetable diagram, you can see that although God moves on to the next stage, He carries on doing everything He has already begun, so that people can get on board with it at any time, right up to when Jesus returns.

Understanding the times

Some within the church, and indeed some churches, have still not heard the call to intimacy, to identity, or to sonship. Some have not realised that God is highlighting the stumbling blocks, the lawlessness in the church. Not everyone yet sees that He is in the process of refining and purifying us so that the church can be presented to Jesus as a spotless bride (and no longer what Joan Hunter calls a ‘dalmatian church’ – covered in spots). Some may have seen or heard, but not yet responded.

Knowing what to do

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There is still time, but it is already shorter than it was. If we have received revelation, we need to take action. Are we willing to be that generation of harvesters? Or those who train up that generation of harvesters? A shaking is coming, and when it does, the world’s systems are going to fail, big time. It will be critical that we really do understand what God is doing and that we actually do know what to do. That is not the time to be caught unprepared.

In the next few posts I am going to challenge some of your sacred cows. I am going to call into question some of your deeply held beliefs and the way you have always understood and interpreted scripture. There are doctrines which up to now many of us have simply accepted without question; but which God is now exposing as doctrines of demons.

Please do not stone me, at least not until you have read and considered everything I have to say. I do not say it lightly. It is not my natural inclination to be confrontational. But God has shown me some truths and I cannot escape that I need to share them with you.

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34. Enlarge The Place Of Your Tent

Mike Parsons  

In all that we are sharing about the Prophetic Timetable, it is important to remember that God has not revealed this simply so that we can be fascinated as we look into it and see what He is doing: He has revealed it so that we can be prepared to play our part. There is a place of authority that God has always intended us to occupy, in which the authority of God is expressed through our lives as we bring heaven to earth. All the earthly systems are about to be shaken and all the world will turn to the church for the answers: we need to be ready.

I have mentioned before that I believe that the first harvest of labourers, the harvest of harvesters, will amount to 20% of the population. Worldwide, that would be over a billion people. If that scale is too hard to imagine, let’s look closer to home: the population of Barnstaple and the surrounding villages is around 48000 according to the latest figures I could find, probably closer to 50000 by now. 20% of that is 10000 individuals. What would it take for the local church in our relatively small market town to handle an influx of 10000 people right now (I don’t mean just Freedom Church, but all the churches across the area)?

There are 20 churches who are part of the Barnstaple Churches Together network, and only a handful of them have congregations over 100 at the moment. Could each church take 500 people, disciple them and equip them to go out and reach the rest of the population? What if there were only 10 churches who were prepared for that? That would be 1000 each. No wonder we are thinking we need a bigger building! The biggest auditorium in North Devon is probably the Queen’s Theatre, which holds 600. Possibly if you used our local Leisure Centre you could squeeze in a few more. Even in a town like Barnstaple you would have 10 churches needing 10 places that size or bigger.

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And if only 3 churches were ready… in that case, we are going to need the whole site we have been believing for. That is why some of us have been making those declarations and prayer-walking and staking out the boundary God has shown us. If you look on a map, or this aerial view, it is shaped like a footprint, with our present building at the ‘big toe’ (centre right, marked with our butterfly logo). That is very fitting, because God told Joshua that he would possess everywhere he set his foot. And just as God really intended Israel to take the blessing to the whole world, that footprint is not the limit of our inheritance or our influence – it is just the base from which we would look to reach out to transform our whole community (however wide that is).

So what if people came from further afield? In the revival here in 2012 we saw folk coming from the south of the county, from Torquay, from Cornwall and Somerset. If we are to be a regional apostolic centre, how big is the region? How big is our vision? As I update this post in mid-2015, we are connecting with thousands of people around the globe through our ‘Engaging God‘ programme, blog, websites, social media and YouTube channel. Wherever you are reading this, how does all this translate into your situation, your church, your community?

All this may well get you thinking: and it is just one aspect of what it would take to disciple and equip the harvest of labourers. I am really only quickly sketching it out now as an introduction to what I want to get into, which is this: if we are going to do all that God is showing us, we are going to need resources way beyond what we now have at our disposal. It is just one line on that Prophetic Timetable, but it is an important one: there is going to be a wealth transfer, to enable us to do all those things to which God is calling us.

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9. Broken Seals, Open Warfare

Mike Parsons

warfare no logo“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4).

Seal up the book

We are in a time when the seals are being broken and the books that were sealed up are being opened. There is revelation coming, revelation of the truth of God’s Word, revelation from the heavenly realms, and its purpose is to prepare us for these days.

‘But just as it is written, “things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.”’ That is 1 Cor 2:9 and it is not a very encouraging verse unless you read the one that comes after it, verse 10: ‘For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God’.

You see, verse 9 is a quotation from the Old Testament, and there were things in the Old Testament that could not be revealed. Before the Holy Spirit came, there were things that could not be revealed, not even to Jesus’ disciples. Nicodemus could not understand spiritual things that had no earthly counterpart. But today, by the Holy Spirit, God is revealing those things.

‘The Spirit searches all things’ – that is, everything about us, everything about God, even to the very depths of God, and he is revealing them to his people in these days to prepare us for what is to come. The prophetic books are being opened, and in opening those books there is new and fresh revelation being released, and we need to listen.

God’s Prophetic Timetable

Now when I talk about God’s prophetic timetable, I am not going to give you dates for things, I am going to give you a prophetic expectation about periods of time in which God is going to be working in particular ways.  I am not going to tell you everything that goes on in those periods because I don’t know it all, but I am going to tell you the things that God has shown me that are going to go on in those periods. We need to get ready and be prepared for these things that are coming.

We need to get ready and be prepared, because there is a challenge that God is going to bring. And if we are not ready and if we are not prepared, then we are in for a big shock. There are things you are going to have to do very soon in the kingdom of God that, if you had to do them now, would really, really challenge you.

Spiritual warfare

Spiritual warfare will become more open. In this country, spiritual warfare is hidden. Most of it is done behind closed doors by those ministering deliverance, or intercessors who are trying to engage the atmosphere of the earth. This is the kingdom in darkness where Satan rules as prince of the power of the air and his fallen angels rule over principalities, powers and territories.

Intercessors and others are engaging that kingdom in darkness mostly from this earthly realm, when, if they are engaging it at all, it should be from a position seated in authority in the heavenly realms of the kingdom of God or kingdom of Heaven. We need to go to the realms of the kingdom and directly obtain mandates or court orders if we are going to engage the kingdom in darkness, and we can then come down through the kingdom in darkness bringing the light of God’s glory to transform it, refine it and purify it. I will teach more about that as we go along.

But where spiritual warfare is concerned, I am telling you, things are going to ‘hot up’. The enemy’s schemes that are hidden are going to be exposed, and it is our light that is going to expose them.

The days of Noah

Jesus said that ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man’ (Matt 24:37).  Now that is a challenging verse. He is saying that if we look at how it was in the days of Noah, that will give an indication of what is going to be going on in the day when Jesus returns. But the difference between what happened in the days of Noah and what is going to happen when Jesus returns is that one was defeat and the other is going to be victory.

Then the whole planet was wiped out, other than Noah and his immediate family; now the whole planet can be saved. I am not saying that everyone is going to be saved, but the potential of these days, when there are so many billions of people on earth, is that there are going to be more people in heaven than not. There is not going to be a defeat for God’s people. Jesus is going to come back for a church without spot or blemish, prepared and ready for his return. But we have to be ready to deal with whatever we have to face.

In the next post I will say more, but for now I’m just going to give you a glimpse of this. I shared when we talked about spiritual warfare that the seed of woman and the seed of Satan are in opposition, that they have always been in conflict. Satan has always tried to wipe out the seed. Cain killed Abel; later the enemy would try to wipe out Moses, he would tempt and try to kill Jesus. But in the days of Noah, his strategy was to pollute the seed, to make the people on the earth genetically impure.

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